​How to Repair Cracks and Scratches in Butcher Block Countertops

No matter how much you take care of your wooden countertops, cracks and scratches will inevitably appear over time. Fortunately, it is very easy to repair on your own. Here are a few tips on how to fix these imperfections in your wood countertops. If you follow these steps, this will keep your countertops pristine, just like new!

Clean the Surface

First, inspect the surface for any stains. Although it is best to clean up spills as soon as they happen, don’t lose heart if you notice an old stain. Bleach and hydrogen peroxide are two cleaning agents that will get the toughest of stains out. With a careful eye, make sure to not spread extra chemicals on any of the surrounding wood, as it may discolor the wood. Consider using a cotton swab for precise application.

Sand the Surface

Once you have removed any stains, you are now ready to tackle those cracks and scratches. If they’re small enough, sanding could remove them entirely. To manage this, use a fine-grit sandpaper with an orbital sander to gently sand in the direction of the grain until the tiny scratches or cracks are completely gone. Make sure to go over the damaged part of the wood first, then the surrounding area to even out the surface. When finished, wipe off the countertop with a tack cloth to remove any dust and debris.

Fill in Cracks

Sanding might not work on large cracks. Instead, you can fill them in with wood putty. Make sure you choose putty that matches the color of your wood countertop. After filling in the crack, use a putty knife to smooth the putty so it’s level with the wood. Then wait for it to dry. Once the putty is dry, it is now time to sand the surface again. If you are seeking a reliable brand, check out what Mohawk Finishing Products has to offer. This company carries Epoxy Putty Sticks, an excellent adhesive available in a variety of standard colors.

Alternatively, you can use a combination of glue and sawdust. Simply fill in the crack with wood glue, and then top it with sawdust shavings and sand it. If the crack is fairly deep, use a plastic syringe to effectively sink the glue into the space. Depending on the brand of glue, most glue will completely dry within a 24 hour time period.

Coat the Surface with Oil

A wood countertop is either sealed with oil or is finished with a varnish. If your wood countertop is sealed with oil, complete the job with a coat of food-safe mineral oil. Keep applying coats until the wood no longer absorbs the oil. Mineral oil is one of the most popular types for wooden countertops, but plant-based oils are also commonly used. Another great option is our Butcher Block & Cutting Board Oil. Applying oil to the surface is an important maintenance technique that should be done every two to four weeks.

As for wood with sealed finishes such as acrylic urethane, polyurethane, sparurethane, lacquer or any other type of varnish, there are special products that we recommend to use. Perfect Blend by Mohawk is an aerosol nitrocellulose lacquer that works very nicely by sealing and “feathering out” around the general radius of the repaired area. This is a great product to invest in to avoid the pain of having to refinish the entire countertop.

Butcher block countertops are a beautiful and functional part of any kitchen. With frequent use, they are susceptible to cracks and scratches. Remember that cracks in wood can harbor bacteria, so be considerate of your health by maintaining an environment for safe food preparation. With these simple tips, you can easily repair these imperfections and restore the wood to near flawless condition.

If you are considering adding butcher block to your kitchen, or need to replace old or worn countertops, The Hardwood Lumber Company carries a variety of wooden countertops that fit any style or budget. Browse our selection of countertops to find the perfect fit for your kitchen!